The following is a guest post from David Roberts, who is one of the best high school English Teachers in the land by day and a defender of all things awesomely manly by night. He also happens to be my brother-in-law. The next three Wednesdays will feature posts by him as I am take a few weeks off off blogging to tackle a few other written pursuits. Enjoy!
I won’t claim that real men carry pocket knives. What I mean is, pocket knives are neither exclusive to Real Men nor a requirement for Real Manhood.
However, if you carry one, have carried one, have thought about carrying one, or don’t know what a pocket knife is, please read on.
The giants of my childhood carried a knife in their pocket or on their belt: grandpa, dad, step-dad, uncles, Rambo. In my mind, the correlation was clear: men carried knives.
I saw my grandpa skin raccoons, open envelopes, cut rope, dig out splinters, clean fingernails, all with the same pocket knife. I suppose that’s the root of why pocket knives, seemingly a vestige of some older time when dudes needed to carry sharp objects to protect themselves, have continued to be popular: so many situations render them necessary. Have you ever needed to cut fishing line, slice open a package (particularly those 100-ply-polymer-blend-government-grade plastic packages that kids’ toys seem to come in), pry a flat object from an even flatter place? In such situations, the inevitable query is, “Anybody got a pocket knife?”
I’ll tell you what: it feels good to be able to say, “Yeah, here’s mine.”
Many of the accouterments of manhood seem a bit like our appendix: nice to have, but not essential for existence. A pocket knife, on the other hand, has so much utility.
So whether you carry Buck or Case, Swiss Army or Ka-Bar, Gerber or Browning, know that you stand in solidarity with me and many others. Carry on.